Following the severe traffic accident in which eight Arabs from the same family were killed on Route 60 two weeks ago and other serious accidents in the area, the Samaria Regional Council announced an unprecedented move to promote cooperation between Arabs and Jews in the war to prevent traffic accident fatalities.
The cooperation will be conducted in the areas of legislation, education on the importance of traffic safety, and infrastructure.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan met with a senior Arab leader (who does not belong to the PA), and discussed the possibilities for cooperation on this important subject.
The official told Dagan, "There is no political issue here. There are Jews and Arabs who are dying on the road. We call our vehicles: the coffins of death." The official noted that the Arab street is waiting impatiently for its response on this issue, and that after the recent accidents, it has cooperated with the Jewish residents to eradicate this phenomenon.
Dagan told the official that he agrees with him that this is a matter that goes beyond political disagreements. "Promoting the war on traffic accidents and promoting the issue of public relations among the Arab public and the Israeli public should be the primary interest of the State of Israel."
"Anyone who goes out on the roads of Judea and Samaria today is taking a risk. The infrastructure is not good enough. The number one cause of death in our sector today is death from traffic accidents. We expect the government to put the issue at the top of its list of priorities. And certainly the initiative to establish a joint civic organization for Arabs and Jews to eradicate the phenomenon [should be a top priority].
"The initiative of the regional council will today begin its informational campaign and [to post] signs on the roads in Samaria for Jews and Arabs under the title 'Jews and Arabs want to get home safely.'
The two sides agreed to establish a joint Israeli-Arab civilian organization to combat traffic accidents. They will also promote a lobby in the Knesset to push for legislation to combat the phenomenon.
The Samaria Regional Council noted that the State of Israel does not count the fatalities of PA residents in Judea and Samaria, which makes the roads seem safer than they truly are.